Updated Aug 24, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump’s new cuffs: Court rules on his social media

Data: Superior Court of Fulton County; Table: Axios Visuals
Data: Superior Court of Fulton County; Table: Axios Visuals

Former President Trump's bail has been set at $200,000 in Georgia's sweeping racketeering case, and he's got new rules limiting his use of social media to intimidate any potential witnesses or co-defendants.

Why it matters: The former president faces a mountain of legal troubles that are already burning through his presidential campaign's war chest.

  • "The Defendant shall perform no act to intimidate any person known to him or her to be a codefendant or witness in this case or to otherwise obstruct the administration of justice," according to the order.
  • Trump had already warned one witness — former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan — against testifying to the Fulton County grand jury.
  • "The above shall include, but are not limited to, posts on social media or reposts of posts made by another individual on social media," per Trump's order.
  • The order also forbids him from communicating about the case with his 18 co-defendants, except through their lawyers.

Trump must pay 10% of the bail amount — $20,000 — when he surrenders to authorities and is booked at the Fulton County jail.

  • Trump and his co-defendants have until Friday at noon to surrender, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said.
Screenshot from the court filing

Zoom in: Trump's $200,000 bond is the largest of any of the consent orders released so far this week.

  • Former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani agreed to the second highest bond agreement this week at $150,000.
  • Two co-defendants, lawyers John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro, both agreed to a $100,000 bond on Monday.
  • Georgia-based lawyer Ray Smith agreed to a $50,000 bond and Georgia bail bondsman Scott Hall agreed to a $10,000 order, per the consent orders.
  • Eastman, Chesebro, Smith and Hall also had rules surrounding witness intimidation in their consent orders, but none of them mentioned posts on social media.

Trump, who has a track record of trying to influence witnesses, has also been warned by the federal judge overseeing the 2020 election conspiracy case against making statements that could intimidate witnesses.

  • "The more a party makes inflammatory statements about this case, which could taint the jury pool … the greater the urgency will be that we proceed to trial quickly," Judge Tanya S. Chutkan said during a hearing earlier this month.

Zoom out: Trump was charged last week with 13 counts, including a mobster statute, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO).

  • A spokesperson for the former president's campaign did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details throughout.

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